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Four Benefits of Automating File Management Tasks

Four fundamental benefits of ditching manual file maintenance in favor of automation

In an effort to address an array of file-related challenges, many organizations automate file management tasks. Automation can enhance security, free up IT resources, and help you achieve order and control in an otherwise inadequately regulated file transfer environment.

Let's take a closer look at how automating file management can improve IT processes. Here are four fundamental benefits of ditching manual file maintenance in favor of automation.

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1.  Save administration hours
Your IT staff is busy. From assigning, maintaining, archiving, and possibly even organizing storage for every user in your organization, there's little time to do much else. Other larger, more consequential IT projects may require their attention, but right now they're busy helping the user on the third floor who can't find the documents he just saved in his home folder.

What if IT didn't have to deal with these issues? They could apply their talents to more meaningful tasks like preparing a realistic budget for the coming year or training recent hires on the new enterprise application you just implemented.

Automating file management means every aspect of the user and group file lifecycle is completely taken care of. IT barely has to think about it anymore, so your organization can gain back the thousands of hours lost to tedious administrative tasks each year.

2. Enforce data use policies
Whether for intellectual property (IP) protection or regulatory compliance, your organization has data use policies it needs to enforce. Only specific users and groups should have access to sensitive data, and automating file management can establish access requirements on the fly.

In addition to restricting and allowing access, automation can manage file renaming, remove disallowed file types from collaborative directories, and adjust rights as roles change. All of this can be set up to align with the data use policies your organization already depends on. It's like putting compliance on autopilot.

3. Curtail the use of unauthorized applications
By automating rules that prevent users from moving sensitive data out of their allowed directories, you can further ensure that your organization safeguards intellectual property from unauthorized access. After all, there is a high cost for allowing or ignoring applications like Dropbox at work. Automating file storage can keep employees from putting files there in the first place.

For example, a nurse at a health care institution might need to send patient information to another nurse or doctor in a different department. It would be easy to add the patient file to a shared Dropbox folder, but when the nurse tries, the organization's file management rules prevent moving the file.

The result: patient data isn't compromised and the organization maintains HIPAA compliance.

4. Manage staff turnover
It's easy to think of file management as a process that occurs during an employee's tenure at a company. But what happens to that person's files when he or she leaves? Hint: They don't disappear into thin air; at least, not without a little help.

Divvying up a former user's files among other staffers, reassigning rights, and archiving or deleting the user's data was once a manual IT process. However, an automated file management arrangement can ensure that the individual's files - sensitive or otherwise - are archived or deleted within a specified time period after he or she leaves. Thus, turnover isn't such a chore for IT to manage.

With Novell Storage Manager, organizations from the health care, finance, and education sectors are taking advantage of automated file management. In the process, they're freeing up valuable IT resources and protecting their sensitive data from unauthorized access.

File management automation isn't just an IT improvement - although it definitely benefits IT personnel - it's a transformation that helps you better serve users, clients, and partners. And, as we all know, it's by helping those people that you achieve positive ROI.

4 Benefits of Automating File Management Tasks is a post from: Data In Motion

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More Stories By Tom Scearce

Tom Scearce is product marketing manager at Attachmate and Novell for the enterprise file management market. He has 19 years of marketing, sales, product management and consulting experience in a variety of industries including software, professional services, telecommunications, media, medical devices and health/fitness services. Tom holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

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